Got nothing against them - as long as the person covering them can do them justice. Celine Dion attempted to cover Jennifer Rush's Power of Love. She should have been shot for it. There was also a cover of Transvision Vamp's I want your love by some bimbo or other from some Channel 4 programme or other. It was terrible.
That said, there have been some fantastic ones. Westlife have covered Mandy from Barry Manilow. It was great. Take That covered another Manilow song "Could it be magic?". Again, brilliant. I suppose that is one of the essential part of the equation. If the song is crap, the cover won't be any good.
However, even a great song (such as When the going gets tough and Uptown Girl) the resulting cover may be totally awful. Looks like that is another part of the equation, if the band performing the cover isn't up to the task in hand, then the cover won't be much use either.
Opera and Classics
Opera and the classics are brilliant. Everyone should listen to them. If that means that we listen to Bond or Myleen Klass or anyone else bringing the classics to the wider audience, I don't care. Everyone should have the pleasure of listening the Bach, Mozart, Beethoven or Tchaikovsky. Everyone should listen to Der Valkerie or a Verdi opera.
Odd as it sounds, I quite like rap. Not the sort of rap where some rapper raps at 40 words every 12 seconds. There was on "20 seconds to comply" (taken from the ED-209 from RoboCop) - I couldn't understand a blithering word.
Now, odd as it may seem, I quite enjoy Dr Dre and Eminem. Why is that odd? Well, neither of them can really be considered to be pleasant. They swear, go on about abuse to minorities, women and plenty of other things. I suppose I like them for the same reason as I like the Beastie Boys. The tunes are catchy and the lyrics, though shocking I find them quite amusing.
One word in general - crap. I say in general as there was some really good stuff towards the end of the decade. Mostly, though, crap. Dull, boring and awful. I think the worst of the 60s was the Beetles. Boy, were that grate. And the surviving members (and the unmusical pap released from the rest) still do just that.
Remove punk and you have a really creative decade of music. We had glam rock, the start of new wave, the bits that survived from the 60s and the really dodgy "death" songs (such as Bobby Goldsborough - I've yet to hear anything he did which didn't involve death or tradegy). You also had the rise and fall of disco. Absolutely cracking decade of music.
The biggest and best of the decade though was the advent that is Richard O'Brian's Rocky Horror Show
Started well and then we had the absolute horror. The horror of...
Stock, Aitken and Waterman
Now, SAW started off well. They produced Dead and Alive's You spin me round - one of the most catchy songs I've ever heard. All was well. Then they hit upon an idea. Write three original tunes and just record them with plenty of other "artists". Use different words and if you're lucky a different key signature. And then do it time and time and time and time and time and time and time and ... well, you get the idea. Unfortunately, the British buying public didn't. And SAW became incredibly rich.
Back to the 80s
We had the start of house. House originally was fun, then it changed and then became silly and dull. Hard Rock hit it's best time as people finally realised that they had been listening to garbage for most of the decade. We also had the big boom in rap and controversy. The Beastie Boys smashed though and caused a hell of alot of problems with their tour - they had naked dancers in cages. A great marketing twist if there was one!
For some reason, there was a version of Phantom of the Opera by Lloyd Webber which was plain awful. One of my mates at school bought the double album when it came out and ranted about it for ages. I then had the misfortune to listen to it. Typical tuneless Lloyd Webber material.
Quite a fun decade. We had the big rise in charity songs. These were quite fun, but became stagnent. Towards the end we had Britney (and her clones - like some bimbo with the surname "Simpson" who repeatedly said she was not Britney) and Christina. Now Britney isn't bad, but she hit the ground running by making her first video dressed as school girl. The song wasn't up to much, but the video sold the song. Adult males bought the single in droves to see the video!
Christina was the talented one. She didn't need the uniforms and what not as she has talent. Her first album was one of the best I'd ever heard.
Another notable were the Cranberries. A band from Ireland with a raw sound. They also took no prisoners with their lyrics.
There was also the indie invasion. We had All About Eve, the Sisterhood (which spilt to form Sisters of Mercy and The Mission). Really high quality music which was just plain nice. Things went sour for both bands, there were splits and thankfully, both have reformed, though it looks like the Mission may be hitting the rocks currently
I'm pretty selective as to what I watch. There are certain programmes I hate to such an extent that I go out of the room (these tend to be American who seem to have cornered the market in dross) or just plain don't watch.
What a programme has to contain
Really, it depends on the genre of programme. If it's a comedy, it doesn't have to be "ha ha" funny. A lot of comedy is can be derived from the situation and dynamics between the characters without having a strong script. Face it, the Marx brothers were not exactly God's gift to well scripted comedy, but they are hilarious!
A programme has to deliver what it aims to deliver. If it's a thriller and is a thrilling as the BBC test-card, it's a waste of time watching it.
The big exception to this are natural history programmes. Nature is such a fantastic thing that just pointing a camera at a tree and watching the odd snake chomping on an egg is good enough. Since the advent of digital satellite, the choice has boomed thanks to Discovery. The original material they produce rivals the BBC at it's best.
Of course, all natural history programmes have a bias towards the likes of snakes, spiders, sharks and scorpions. Basically, the killers. That's fine, they are interesting, but they're not that exciting, which is where the personalities come around.
Natural history nutjobs
Gone are the days of David Attenborough. He's old hat. While safe and homely, they're no longer any good for the MTV generation. Step forward the Steve Irwins of the world. Hyper enthusiastic about all that they do and the world around them, they bring a new audience. I think it's the dark side of the human nature wondering how long it will be before he gets bit, stung or suffer some accident or other that we watch. Who cares. I don't. The point is that people are watching and a new generation become interested.
I actually have a deep admiration for the likes of Steve. They're bringing life and more importantly, a new generation of people up with an interest in natural history, ecology and "the bigger picture". It's because of him (and the likes of him) that Biology numbers are going up in Colleges and Universities. There is a downside - it shows that to appeal to kids, you have to be an over the top person and it's a bit of a pity that there isn't anyone like that to get folks interested in Chemistry and Physics.
These bore the crud out of me. I have very little interest in history. While it does teach us how to avoid making the same mistakes again (who would have predicted the second world war, I mean, we learn by our mistakes...), I just don't have any interest in it. Except for weapons development. I have a morbid fascination with anything to do with nukes, biological or chemical weapons. It makes my mind boggle that we can produce something so damned destructive as to endanger all life on the planet and then rationally defend them!
MTV is brilliant. VH1 is fine. They do exactly what they say on the packet. The ones I get annoyed at are the ones that you have to phone/text a number to (at some expensive rate) to request a video. The pretence of it is that unless you text/phone in then no video is shown. I can't see that somehow. Sure, it's a nice democratic way of watching what you want, but it is a bit of a rip...
Why? QVC are full of crap and the rest are full of either overpriced and largely useless crap. The sooner these vanish, the better. That said, they are really funny. On the same show they can advertise 3 products, all functionally the same and yet claim that the current one is the best thing since sliced bread and then demonstrate the next product which is better than the last!
Pay per view
This is annoying. Sky claim that you can't record their programmes on PPV as they are "so new" and that this is the only way the film companies will let them be shown. Rubbish. There was another broadcaster showing up to date PPV movies with no protection. Unfortunately, the plug was pulled on them (one of their backers disappeared).
They are also not that new and the protection can be circumvented by using an old video recorder (one without the protection circuit) which can be picked up from the likes of eBay for a tenner a throw. So much for that one!
Original text : Me
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Dr Who serial codes : Ian M. Jobes
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